Census 2000 Shows Resident Population of 281 Million

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The U.S. Census Bureau yesterday released the first results from Census 2000, showing the resident population of the United States on April 1 was 281,421,906, an increase of 13.2 percent over the 248,709,873 persons counted during the 1990 census.

These results reveal the actual head count of the nation's population. By law, the results must be on President Clinton's desk before Dec. 31.

Direct marketers often use census information to fill in missing pieces of large consumer databases and for market research.

The following are key results:

• The most populous state in the country was California (33,871,648); the least populous was Wyoming (493,782). The state that gained the most numerically since the 1990 census was California, up 4,111,627. Nevada had the highest percentage growth in population, climbing 66.3 percent (796,424) since the last census.

• Regionally, the South and West picked up the bulk of the nation's population increase, 14,790,890 and 10,411,850, respectively. The Northeast and Midwest also grew: 2,785,149 and 4,724,144.

• The resident population of Puerto Rico was 3,808,610, an 8.1 percent increase over the number counted a decade earlier.

Census 2000 also decides congressional apportionment totals. Giving state-by-state totals, the bureau gave details of the apportionment to the 50 states of the 435 seats in the House of Representatives, as required by the Constitution, with 18 of the 50 states either gaining or losing seats.

Arizona, Florida, Georgia and Texas each got an additional two seats while New York and Pennsylvania each lost two. Other losers were Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma and Wisconsin -- which ceded one each -- while California, Colorado, North Carolina and Nevada each gained one.

President Clinton is scheduled to transmit the apportionment counts to the 107th Congress during the first week of its regular session in January. The reapportioned Congress, which will be the 108th, convenes in January 2003.

Commerce Secretary Norman Mineta said Census 2000 was a success.

"The participation by the people of this country in Census 2000 not only reversed a three-decade decline in response rates, but also played a key role in helping produce a quality census," he said.

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